Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's Grazing Time! My Last Blog until July!

Summer is just about here and my June calendar is full! Noah's 5th grade continuation, our family vacation and several writing deadlines I've set for myself. Ergo, I am taking a blogging break. I really want to THANK YOU for reading my blog. I know clicking on to Joy Dance and reading my scribbling takes some effort and for that I say thank you! I hope your June is filled with sunshine and joy. Take time to go barefeet in the grass and feel the earth between your toes. And dance in the joy the Father has for you!
See you in July! No bull! (Get it? See the picture?)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Consistency of His Presence (Part 2) - The Voice Next to Mine

Years ago I went to Russia to teach English to teenagers at a church camp. I learned so much that summer. One of God’s lessons came when I visited, as a tourist, a Russian Orthodox Church.

The cathedral was dimly lit. Saints were immortalized as icons on the walls. There were no chairs or pews.

I stood among the crowd of Russians with my hair covered by a shawl, as was the rule. I looked around, watching for the perfect Kodak moment.

Then God talked to me.

Worship me, Robbie. Forget your surroundings and worship.

I began to listen. The words were in Russian and the singers all sang acapello. I didn’t recognize the tune, and I wondered if everyone was singing in different keys.

Lord, I know this must be beautiful to You, but all I hear is a cacophony of out of tune jibberish.

Robbie, listen to the voice next to yours.

I focused and heard a loud pleading singer. I glanced to my right and saw an old woman. A four feet, wrinkled face babushka. Her eyes were closed and she looked as if she was a beggar pleading. My heart softened when I saw her tears.

I closed my eyes again and felt remorse.

Lord, I’m sorry. This is a place of worship, not a a vacation slide.

Robbie, listen to her.

I listened and I began to worship.

It wasn’t thrilling like singing with a worship band. It wasn’t traditional spurred by a choir singing hymns. This moment of worship was filled with awe and a quietness of heart. It was about listening to God and the voice next to mine.

Robbie, this is your grandmother in Christ.

My eyes opened quickly. I was pretty sure God had just made a tiny error.

But Lord, she is worshipping here.


What if she hasn’t said the sinner’s prayer?

As soon as I said it, my eyes were opened to the sinful prejudice I possessed being from America, God’s “number one country."  What a fool I am, I thought. The sinner’s prayer is not even in the Bible.

This is your grandmother in Christ.

I opened my heart to what God wanted to teach me and I discovered how a worship experience, unlike any other of my life, could deepen my walk with God and my love for my neighbor in just the space of a few minutes.

After the music ended, I opened my eyes to turn to the babushka and utter the few words of conversational Russian I knew. She was gone.

I will see her again. When I get to heaven, I will meet her. We won’t talk in English or Russian. We won’t discuss Presbyterian theology versus Russian Orthodox theology. We’ll come together in unity and in the grace that God rescued us both. And we will worship, my babushka in Christ and I. She will be the voice next to mine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Consistency of His Presence! (Part 1)

I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church complete with potlucks and Vacation Bible School and church camps. In my early 20s, I joined a Wesleyan church. That particular church had a huge singles group, so I guess my motivation was to find Mr. Right. I spent 9 wonderful years there and went on a life-changing mission trip to Russia with that denomination. Soon after I left, I met my husband and joined his church, a Four Square Church. Next we joined a Calvary based church called Journey, a fantastic church in San Diego. Next we joined a small nondenominational church and helped in leadership. That experience hurt us deeply (a story way too familiar in Christianity) and we decided to attend a Baptist church near our home to heal our wounds. After moving to Denver, we attended my brother's church, Southeast Community Church in Parker and loved it, but it was just too much of a drive. So we joined Jubilee, a Charasmatic church and attended for two great years. Six months ago, we decided to begin attending Cherry Hills Community Church, a Presbyterian church, which we currently love.


What a church history, right? Southern Baptist, Wesleyan, Four Square, Calvary, Nondenominational, Charasmatic and now Presbyterian.

You might be thinking a) Robbie, are you a religious schizophrenic? Or b) Robbie, do you have a fear of church committment?  :0)

I have friends who have faithfully attended the same church for decades and I think that is absolutely swell. The church I grew up in will always be special to me. So many folks poured into my life and the lives of my friends. It is a priviledge to have that kind of longevity at the same place.

But for many different reasons, God has led us to attend a bunch of different types of churches. Sometimes I wish that Noah could have grown up in the same church, but that has not been our story. The current church we attend is absolutely wonderful and I hope that we will stay there through Noah's graduation. Not the one from elementary school in 3 weeks, but his graduation from high school. :0)

I sat in church last Sunday and witnessed a choir of 150 people and an orchestra of about 50 lead us in worship. I cried. The majesty of sound was incredible! And as I sang I thanked God for a huge Presbyterian church that treated me to a taste of what the angels in heaven might sound like. But my next thought was to also say thanks for the little Baptist church I grew up in, with a choir of 20, all of whom I knew well, and the hymns I still sing to myself when I do the dishes or swing on the porch. I thanked God for the worship band in that Charasmatic church that thrilled me and caused a little Joy Dance of the soul. I thanked God for that Four Square church, where 1 woman and a piano led us to the throne of God each Sunday.

Bottom line is this: denominations are different, God is the same. Worship Styles are different. But Jesus hangs out in all of them, drawing anyone who will humbe themselves, to Him and His love and grace. Churches are different. God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the same.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

(Part 2 on Thursday)

Thursday, May 13, 2010


(This is Noah with a whole lotta gold in Breckenridge.)

"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."  Angela Schwindt

At church last Sunday the pastor recognized all the moms and had them stand up. I stood proudly,  grateful that God allowed me to have a son. Next, the pastor asked that the parents of any upcoming graduate stand so the congregation could applaud the accomplishment. He then said he was talking about any graduation - college, high school and elementary school.

What? It occured to me that I am a mother of a soon-to-be elementary school graduate so I stood up. That's when it happened. It was as if someone across the sanctuary took a sling shot and aimed a giant rock at my heart. Upon impact, my breath left me. I sat down quickly.

Church went on but I stayed put, treading water in the realization that Noah, my eleven-year-old, is growing up. My head knows this daily. But at that moment, my heart felt it with a force that took me from breathless to breathing hard in a matter of seconds.

In less than a month, we will attend Noah's "Continuation" night at his school. Not a graduation or promotion. A "Continuation" of learning and taking the next step into Junior High. But already? It's time? So soon? Elementary school has been a wonderful time for my son. Not without bumps and painful swelling of his heart. But overall, excellent.

I talk to Moms about letting go of control of their children to allow God to do His thing. But I want to control time so badly. I want to have a do-over of his first eleven years of life so I can both do it better and relive some of those incredible moments of extreme joy with my son.

But alas, no. I have to conduct my own "Continuation" and give myself the grace to enjoy the right now, the present days of watching God mold my son.

Yesterday, Noah was watching "America's Funniest Videos" while I was on the computer. We were both sitting on the couch. I glanced over at Noah and noticed that he was purposefully looking away from the TV. I quickly deduced that the show was showing a montage of painful falls by people stripping. As his father has taught him, he was protecting his heart by averting his eyes.

I grabbed the remote and muted the TV. "Noah, by looking away from that do you know what you are showing me?"

"That I'm responsible?"


"I know Mom. I'm amazing, aren't I?" He said this with a twinkle.

"Not humble, but definitely amazing." I replied.

All I can do is stay grateful for each moment with my son. I must let go of my need to control. And why not? My life is a "Continutation" of amazing.  :0)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10 Ways to Be Courageous...Today!

Last night I had the honor of speaking to a writers group about courage. I love this topic because most of my life I've been the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. Loud roar. Scared of my own presence. But because God, the giver of life and courage has drawn me to His love and His way of life, I've become more and more brave. I still have a long ways down that yellow brick road, but each dancing skip leads me closer to being a woman who is afraid of nothing. Some day.

I purposely think about courage. So today, let me offer 10 Ways to be Courageous...Today.

1) Be yourself. Say and do nothing to oppress who you really are.

2) Buy a stranger coffee. Takes guts.

3) Call or email an old friend just to encourage them.

4) Stand up for something you believe public.

5) Take ten minutes to an hour to do nothing but list ways you can walk through fear.

6) Hug someone you don't usually hug.

7) Stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself five wonderful things about yourself.

8) Kneel down somewhere and tell God five wonderful things about Him.

9) Dance. I'm not sure why, but this is an exercise for developing courage. :0)

10) Smile at five strangers today. Just smile. Try this and you will be amazed how your courage grows. Try not to smile at a weirdo. :0) Just kidding. When you smile, they might think you are the weirdo.

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind."

Friday, May 07, 2010

The 17th Mothers Day without My Mom

My mother, Sally Ann Floyd, died in 1993. It's coming up on 17 Mothers Days without her. I don't remember the first one. She died in April so I have very little memory of that May. Grief does that. I'm sure I didn't go to church on that Mother's Day. When grief was still a bleeding wound, watching Moms get pointed out and honored was a river of salt cascading into my pain.

Between her death and the time I became a Mom myself was six years. After I got pregnant with Noah, celebrating Mothers Day took on a whole new meaning. What a joy to be a mom. Nothing compares with the mysterious, supernatural bond between mother and child. So I love Mothers Day. I wish it was Mothers Week or Mothers Month. I mean, come on, we deserve it right? :0)

But a part of me still hurts on the day that I used to give Sally Ann cards and macaroni necklaces and pictures I drew. I miss her. She was a tall slender woman who was extremely intelligent. Very competitive. Loved to play all sorts of games and taught the four of us to win and to lose. Of course when we played her we mostly practiced how to lose. She loved flowers and grew all sorts of colorful ones throughout our yard. Her roses won prizes at the local fair. Mama's laugh was infectious and her smile was huge. I get my smile from her - all gums and teeth and a gap right in the middle. Sally loved Walker, my dad, with an unfliching loyalty. 40 years they were married before her death. Together, they taught each of us a lot about love and what it means to be individuals and yet one.

So a new Mothers Day is coming and it will be bittersweet. Mostly sweet. Most of the day will be spent being pampered by the guys in my life. As it should be. :0) But a memory of my mom will sneak up on me sometime. It'll feel like someone's tapping me on the shoulder. I'll turn around and remember Sally Ann. I'll tear up for a minute and say a prayer and thank God for the time I got to have with her. And I'll be grateful that someday I'll see her again and I'll introduce her to her son-in-law John and her grandson Noah. That hope, that faith, soothes the wound that no longer bleeds. Just occasionally aches. The ache on Sunday will be temporary as it always is. I'll wipe my eyes and look at Noah and John and smile.

Then I'll say, "So where are the presents?"  :0)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Lord, Make me a Tree!

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stand is the way of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of mockers,

Blessed are you when you avoid destructive influences.
This could be an unsafe person, a TV show or movie that
causes us to think ungodly thoughts or do things we know isn't right.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night

Blessed are you when you read, experience,
taste, breathe, meditate and live the Word!

He shall be like a tree planted by streams of water,
that brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Blessed are you when you're planted firmly in Jesus!
You shall have stability and productivity!

The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff
which the wind drives away.

If you're not firmly planted in Jesus,
you'll have instability and insecurity and follow
whoever seems right.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

Sounds like defeat and isolation.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous
But the way of the ungodly shall perish!